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Always Looking Up To Him

Celebrating 30 Years of Marriage and Some Tips on How to Do It!

First, The Celebration Part of the Story.....

May 7th, 1988 is one of my favorite days ever! It’s the day I married my husband Bryan. Fast-forward to May 2018 and I can’t believe 30 years have gone by so fast. For all of these 30 years, from time to time we have joked about and discussed redoing our wedding. When we got married 30 years ago we were very young. We lacked a lot of resources and we had some unusual rules to follow at our church because I already had a baby. So our wedding wasn’t exactly a “dream wedding". At our 10-year anniversary it would have been impossible to redo a wedding celebration as we were in the throes of raising four young daughters and we were basically super poor at that time. At our 25-year anniversary our oldest daughter was due to have her first baby any day during that time frame. We couldn’t risk missing the birth of our granddaughter, or our daughter and son-in-law not being at our party. So this year, as we were anticipating 30 years and reminiscing about our life, Bryan asked if I thought we should go for it and re-do the “wedding”. We were sitting beachside during a romantic dinner while on vacation and it just seemed like it was meant to be. He asked if it should be a full-fledged vow renewal and all I could think was that I just didn’t want it to come off corny. But really, a lot of the traditional ceremony things are what we missed out on, so we felt like it was really important and would be special.

I had a mere 6 weeks to plan the whole thing, but I do own 3 wedding businesses in town and I have all the experience, resources, and friends in the wedding industry to pull it off to perfection. The day was so special. My four daughters and I started off our day with Brunch at our favorite restaurant, The Exchange, who decked out our table with flowers and mimosas. We got ready at the Beauty Lounge located at my Eventful 203 Building. Then we headed down to another of our favorite places, Brooklyn and the Butcher, for some photos.

"Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun"

My Girls Love Their Mama!

The ceremony and reception took place at my venue the Loft on Spring and it was full of sentimental, funny and lively moments! Bryan surprised me with an anniversary band during the vow renewal that was officiated by our good friend Ray Green, the Pastor at Graceland Baptist Church. We did a short first dance to “I Want to Grow Old with You” by Adam Sandler. Our Best Man and Maid of Honor from our original wedding were both able to come and since we didn’t have toasts at our first wedding, they were gracious enough to do a toast at this one. It was so sweet and of course I cried. But probably the best part of the whole evening was when Bryan did a dance with our 4 daughters. They started out with “My Girl” and each daughter took a twirl around with their dad during the first verse and chorus. Then the song cut to “Bad Boys”, then “No Diggity” and finished out with “I’m Too Sexy”. They had it all perfectly choreographed and it was definitely outside of my husband's comfort zone. He typically hates to dance, but he really stole the show and it was a hit.

He's "Too Sexy for His Shirt"

Can't Believe They Pulled it Off. Highlight of the Night!

Cake and Florals by my Event Friends! Mert's Cakes by Virginia and Florals by Amy of Merci Bouquet

Little bit of my own touches also! Wreaths in a window? I'm always doing weird things. But I always love how it turns out.

Our Original Invitation!

Our Original Invitation!

Our Original Guests Book! I had calligraphy of the year added and then made a place for our 2018 Guests to sign!

Back in the Eighties, you did newspaper announcements about your wedding and I found our original!

The Girl's Getting Sentimental About All of Our Memorabilia!

Now to the "How To Do It" Part of the Story...

When you are only 18 and about to set out on the great adventure of marriage, you believe that you'll stay together forever. But certainly 30 years at that time and at that age seems MORE than forever. You know you'll make it there, but how? I'm no marriage expert and I wish at times I was more spiritual with my advice and encouragement. But here are just a few simple and easy (or maybe if we are telling the truth, not so easy) tips:

1.) Pray and Seek God. Pray for his best for you when it comes to picking a spouse. If you know our story, you will know that my husband met me during one of the most trying, embarrassing and heartbreaking times in my life. God put it on his heart to pray for me daily and I was in a definite contrite period of time that I was DEFINITELY seeking God's best for me. God kind of orchestrated our story.

2.) Stay Committed. Just because God "puts you together" or you are trusting that He did, doesn't mean its going to be easy or all flowers and glitter for a lifetime.

3.) Believe the Best About One Another. This might seem obvious, but I really think we get distracted in this life. It gets easy to nit-pick, get disillusioned, get annoyed when the other is not seeming to act right. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Be on the same team. Realize if they are going through a season that isn't the most becoming, believe that they will get through it. And even better, love them anyway and help them the best you can during that season.

4.) Refrain from the "Always" and "Nevers." This is a big one. It's basically about fighting or disagreeing fairly. Don't throw the phrase of "You NEVER understand me". Really? I would venture to say your spouse has understood you a time or two at least. Or maybe a punch in the gut of, "You are ALWAYS are so negative." I can count on the fact that if someone has a bent towards negativity, that there is no one on the planet that is ALWAYS negative. This is such a destructive habit on you and your spouse's psyche and soul. It kind of goes back to the believing the best about one another. And this habit of "Always" and "Never" is akin to name calling almost. Bryan and I have had to learn this lesson. It was our nature for some reason to fight this way for a while.

5.) Look Up to Him. Okay, so I am 5 foot tall, Bryan is 6'3, so I'm literally always looking up to him. But I'm always also figuratively looking up to him emotionally and I'm so proud of him and all his accomplishments. It is wonderful throughout marriage to keep this perspective. BUT the best and most powerful thing is to keep looking up to HIM. The ultimate source of helping you keep on going in this crazy thing called life and marriage!

So if you get to 10 years, 25 years, 30 years, 50 years and beyond, I hope you can celebrate it big! You deserve it...

Really, our Anniversary Party was about celebrating family and celebrating all the things we have gotten through in 30 years. We are really a testament that things in life can be crazy, disappointing, chaotic, and full of crisis'. But you just stick together through it all and then you are able to enjoy the times when it’s sweet, peaceful and full of goodness.

* My "tips" on marriage in no way suggest you should stick it out and stay with someone that is abusive in any way! I'm advocating for seeing it through with your spouse that just has the normal "idiot" moments in life that we all sometimes go through. Forgiveness is so important, but making sure you are safe and in a mutually supportive relationship is most important!

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